Culture and Development: A Systematic Relationship
|ATTACHMENT; CHILDRENS FAMILY DRAWINGS; cultural precocity; developmental pathways; infancy; NSO; PREDICTORS; Psychology; Psychology, Multidisciplinary; traditional farmer; Western middle class
|SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
|PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
This article argues that the relationships between culture and development are differential and systematic. Therefore the presentation of the Western middle-class developmental pathway in textbooks as universal is grossly neglecting the reality and the psychologies of the majority of the world' s population. First, the conception of culture as the representation of environmental conditions is presented. The level of formal education acts as organizer of social milieus that define different learning environments for children. Mainly two developmental pathways are portrayed: the Western middle-class trajectory and the traditional farmer childhood. Different developmental principles are highlighted, demonstrating systematic cultural differences in the development of a conception of the self: developmental dynamics as exemplified in early mother infant interactions, the timing of developmental milestones emphasizing cultural precocities in motor development and self-recognition, developmental gestalts in different attachment relationships and precursors and consequences demonstrating that different, sometimes contradictory behavioral patterns have the same developmental consequences with the examples of empathy development and autobiographical memory. It is argued that evaluating the development in one pathway with the principles and standards of the other is unscientific and unethical. The recognition of different developmental pathways is a necessity for basic science and a moral obligation for the applied fields.
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